Cedric Mitchell Glassblowing LA TIMES Modern Funk

His ‘funk is contagious.’ This L.A. glassblower breaks the rules with his stunning vessels


Seated on a chair, with the hum of twin furnaces and the Impressions playing in the background, glassblower Cedric Mitchell is lost in his craft as he and assistant Sara Roller turn and sculpt molten glass with steel shears.

After a few blasts of a blow torch and several trips back and forth to the furnace, the red-hot glass on the rod turns cobalt blue and forms what will eventually become a 7-inch vase.

Color is the first thing you notice about the artist’s hand-blown glass vessels.

“I love color,” Mitchell says, “which is weird because I wear black every day.”

Mitchell, 37, was an emerging hip-hop artist in Tulsa, Okla., when he first considered glassblowing. It was 2012, and he was recording a song in a Tulsa music studio when he noticed his friend’s impressive glass bong.

“He told me about a studio in downtown Tulsa where I could take a glass-blowing class as an elective at my community college,” says Mitchell, who was studying business at Tulsa Community College. “I immediately signed up for the class at 1 a.m.”


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